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tv   Key Capitol Hill Hearings  CSPAN  August 22, 2016 12:00pm-2:01pm EDT

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discussion?s, we will call the question for a vote. commissioner harriet? >> i will vote yes. >> yes. >> yes. >> yes. yes. >> and i vote yes. it is unanimous. we move on to management and operations. i will turn it over to our staff director for the discussion of a few items. staff director? >> i want to go over a couple of things quickly. it is almost noon and i know folks have things to catch.
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-- planes to catch. the one thing i do want to talk about, the 2017 business meeting calendar. i provided a draft of that to all of you and i worked with staff to make sure there were no conflicts with any religious holidays or federal holidays. this is the draft we have come up with. opinion of itour or discussion about it and then if that is on that amenable so we can start planning for next year. around toan e-mail -- sinceommissioners
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this calendar is before me, i looked at my calendar and had a couple of proposed changes. i suggest january 27 be moved to generate 13. -- moved to january 13. i was informed by -- the latter out, our -- it turns 9,h anniversary is september if we were to hold a meeting on september 8, there might be a anyto marry our meeting and commemorations. changingsk reconsider the proposed january and
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september dates. >> september 8? that is fine with me. >> january 13 -- the 20th is inaugural. i thought the 13th might work as a result. our folks ok with that? -- are folks ok with that? we have done meetings on friday the 13th and they always turn out well. i would make a motion that we accept the agenda of meeting dates with the change from
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.anuary 27 to january 13 is there a second? was that the vice chair? additional discussion? all those in favor, say aye. opposed? the ayes have it. >> as you mentioned, we are aware the 60th anniversary of the commission will occur next year. we wanted to begin the planning process. wallick to brian lead the effort, since he has expertise in public media and public outreach.
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i wanted to throw that out there for a discussion. i am thinking about putting together a working group or .lanning group everybody is really busy in the next few weeks, but if we could get something going in early september. specific things people are interested in, we did a very good job working together for the commemoration of the 13th amendment. now is the time to start putting our thinking collapse -- thinking caps on. maybe put together an outline of preliminary planning. if anybody has any high-level or willxpress them now make it to the planning stages, that would be great.
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worked really well in a bipartisan fashion. in putting us together and i would imagine a very similar structure so we can begin to give some serious thought to this. it would be appropriate for us to his knowledge this important anniversary. -- russ to acknowledge -- for us to acknowledge this important anniversary. interested in this group, let your staff director now.
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>> i sent an e-mail out earlier .his week regarding the website to make thatterate transition as smoothly as possible. bear with us and we will let you know. i want to call attention, we have made the vacancy announcement for the office of civil rights evaluation for the analyst. it was announced yesterday by maureen rudolph. what we would really like, if you could send it out to your network so we get a good pool of applicants. chairman, i am working with brian to enhance the use of social media to amplify the commission's
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messaging to a wider audience. social media inot the only vehicle to do this, but it should be a part of the overall commission outreach. page hasing twitter 371 followers. we believe we can have a good potential increase, exponentially over the next three to six months. we are going to be standing up the commission facebook -- setting up the commission's facebook page for the first time. we may be having to update the ai on public affairs. i wanted to let -- we will provide you with more
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information on we get to the point where we can get off. e kick it off. i wish everybody safe travels. >> any questions for the staff director before i adjourn? it is now 12:04 p.m. eastern time and this meeting is adjourned. thank you, from rights for transgender students in public school. the new york post at sign temporary injunction was issued yesterday. today arts the 20th anniversary of president clinton signing
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welfare reform. paul ryan tweeted this video out today and >> the problem with the welfare system is a work replacement system. as a result, people don't work. people stay stuck in poverty. what we are doing is changing the incentives and removing the penalties that are placed upon people in poverty so that works always pays. it makes sense to take a job. you will not be severely penalized if you take that risk. principle ofourt joshelfare reform i >> earnest may be asked about that today you reduce orders on the
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anniversary of the welfare was on law or and we will have live coverage starting at 12:30 eastern. twoamerican enterprise to some of the people most responsible for the welfare law. senator jimmissouri talent. live coverage starts at 3:00 p.m. today. today marks the 20th anniversary of the 1990's its welfare law passed by a republican congress and signed by president the agent. our special program looks back at the senate debate over the 1996 law. >> the current welfare system has failed the very families it was intended to serve. i don't know many people who want to humiliate themselves, standing on the line waiting for the welfare check your yes, there are some sees out there. they are out there. there is no question about it.
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a lot of those people are simply people who have not yet discovered a way out of their misery in their poverty. we have decided that the states and the governors and the legislatures out there are concerned about the poor as we are, as concerned about their well-being and as concerned if not more so than we are about the status of welfare in the states. discussions on how the impact -- it impacted. nevers will never be an ending cycle of welfare. it will be the dignity, the power, and the ethic of work. today we are taking a historic chance to make welfare what it was meant to be, a second chance on a way of life. >> today at 9:00 eastern on c-span. tonight on the communicators,
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virginia commonwealth attorney legislative an aclu on how law enforcement uses cell phone tracking to find criminals and terrorist suspects to they are interviewed by dustin pope. >> the way they operate is impersonating a cell phone tower. they allow police to gather exact location, it information or serial numbers and not just the target phone that all phones in that area. >> i can think of one very gruesome homicide we had in lynchburg couple of years ago, resolved case wasn't by cell tower information it basically broke the case. we would have never found the suspect. it can be very helpful area >> watch communicators tonight on sees into at 8:00.
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obama travels to louisiana tomorrow to visit flood damaged baton rouge. he will also talk to local officials about what needs to be done. josh earnest will answer orders russians about this and other things facing the president. we will bring you live coverage when it starts at 12:30 eastern. this morning and look at washington journal. watch. for those who folks who don't know what is your organization. guest: it is a nonprofit foundation. we find out what the government is up to and tell the people about it. we do that by the freedom of information act. theet documents about what government is doing great if they don't turn over the documents to you or a new -- ignore you you can see them in federal court. , that process is one of your
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claims of fame with hillary clinton's e-mails. guest: we were asking things like benghazi, the special gamete -- government employees. they were not giving us clinton's e-mails. we had this revelation through the benghazi litigation where we pushed for the documents and they finally admitted there were documents, and it turns out it was clinton's e-mails. ,ne of our cases was reopened which led to discovery and texted by clinton aides and state department-ish -- officials.
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written testimony was released through judicial watch. host: the headlines from one of those stories said the judge would not allow the upper -- deposition of mrs. clinton. looking for that because it is the best way to find out information from someone. other officials had already testified. it was a commonsense request to ask for her testimony. i thought the judge realized official,as a high it's not exactly everything we wanted but certainly it is more what mrs. clinton wanted to do. now she has to answer questions under both in written forms. we will be submitting russians to mrs. clinton and she has 30 days to respond.
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host: will this information then come out to the public for election day? guest: presumably. we will be filing with the court as well. it will be available to the american people area host: what are you looking for? what is it about this process that is different? ofst: the freedom information act would have covered mrs. clinton's e-mail. itre was a problem getting search. the court has been upset at the way the law has been a banded i mrs. clinton's e-mail practices. it, it is of interest to the court. host: our guest joining us to talk about the process you have heard about, if you want to ask them questions it is 202-748-8001 for republicans,
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for democrats 202-748-8000 and for independents 202-748-8002. the judges decision and about secretary clinton in -- providing responses, we want to get your response. deadlinee judges set a whereby the group in question did submit those. will get toecretary work right away on answering them. let's step back and look at the origin of all of this. the right wing and republicans in congress are not fans by what the answer that the career professionals and the justice department gave us. they said there was no case. this is an example of a right wing group trying to keep the questions coming here the american people have all the
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information. the e-mails have been released. they have enough to make a judgment at this point. we at the campaign want to talk about the issues that people care about, like jobs, college affordability and health care. >> that some like a note. >> if the judge asked her to answer the question she will get to work right away to get the questions answered. that people have all the information, how do you respond to that. guest: the clinton camp try to make this argument to the court. and the court rejected it. what i hear there is no wiggle room as to whether they will even respond as required by the court. ison't know, the other thing
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that we have all these e-mails coming out that led the clinton foundation to say eventually they will stop taking donations. that's a result of e-mail disclosures by judicial watch. juvenile anding is a surprising. i don't know why they're screaming about judicial watch when it is the court requiring them to answer the question. we have to make sure we have all of our ducks in a row. we will look at those very carefully and recognizing there's a 30 day window for mrs. clinton to respond. we will move quickly. host: is her process that she can hold off? guest: it sounds like they're objecting to some of the russians and we may not get the answers to what we were seeking. -- objecting to some of the questions. let's hear from pat from
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florida, democrats line. hearde on with tom fenton --. caller: judicial watch, thank you for your work. the frosting on the cake for the clintons. any other realistic election 20 years ago, 15 years ago, she wouldn't have a political life are there would be nothing that she would probably be indicted for these things. i come from a back around 60 years ago to be able to vote in therado and i went through , tophone playing president put a line through glass-steagall.
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here are e-mails that blatantly show that the foundation took foreign donations when she was secretary of state. there is no way on god's green earth this would have been allowed in any other era. this fish stinks from the head down. if she is tied to blame all the subordinates below her, the dnc in the foundation managers for doing this, this will be a disaster for politics in america. host: thank you. it's interesting that there's concern about mrs. clinton, we have seen that a lot, people of the left that were not concerned about the government who had concerned about -- concerns about her. real law has to apply whether or not they are running for office.
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host: from michigan, independent line, steve is up next. good morning. go ahead. caller: good morning. i wanted to ask is german what his -- gentleman what his career is. everybody that crosses the committing the suicide or in a plane crash. i'm not worried about that. we have been battling clinton corruption since the 1990's, as she will be happy to tell you. mrs. linton is someone who scares people sometimes because of her misconduct. i'm not terribly concerned about that. host: democrat from windsor, maryland. caller: i'm at first a christian.
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what you guys are talking about this is a way to derail mrs. clinton. are you just doing this so you can get a little bit more work nottrump, why are you guys investigating mr. trump on the university? can you tell me one single thing clinton has done that has given -- somebody who lost a job -- i will take my answer from you are you this is all a creation of
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mrs. clinton appeared we did not know about the e-mails. it was the revelations last year that led to our pursuing this. we were not sure if she was running or all this. -- we had a right to these records whether or not she ran for office. it is mrs. clinton was trying to offend the system, and the state department is slow walking the release of these records. the election is intruding on the rule of law here. we are trying to stop that from happening by getting answers in a timely way that we should have gotten in some cases years ago. but she hid her e-mails and these are the concert wants is for when you do something wrong or it -- when you do something wrong. these are circumstances of her
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own making. we are always looking at mr. trump. he will see what happens there. i don't find many complaints about his university. lawsuit a class action which deserve skepticism. he has testified on the -- under a. -- under both. both. as things come up in the news we are looking at them and trying to eager out what it is we can do to uncover government documents of his operations or conduct. host: massachusetts on the republican line. pam, go ahead. i want to thank tom for everything he is doing. .
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one of the conversations and names that came up between the clinton, the state department and the foundation was --. who is he and why is the important? guest: he's a lebanese business plan -- businessman who paid 10 million dollars to settle charges of political malfeasance who was a major donor to the clinton foundation. he pledged one million dollars for a global initiative row foundation.obal he tried to get a meeting with a top official in lebanon and the state department. he got special attention from the state department.
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host: guest: mrs. clinton made some promises relating to keep a separate wall from the foundation and state department business. question where it was illegally used to benefit a since the man or the foundation. host: the washington post editors said the behavior depicted in the e-mails -- they conduct of diplomacy. guest: that's just a naive point
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of view. everyone knew policy and to the clinton foundation and by giving money directly to them during her tenure. that's why her fees skyrocketed while she was eight. that's why her foundation increased its activity. politicians abroad see this as an opportunity to reference through accessing our uranium market. releasingaterial today showing that crown prince of bahrain went through clinton in order to obtain a meeting with clinton. is essentiallye a foreign head of a government. she couldn't get a meeting through official channels and had to go through the foundation's. billion to the
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clinton foundation's global initiatives. host: what happens today? has uncovered e-mails that this is clint -- that mrs. clinton tried to hide from the american people. they promise to give
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30,000 or so were released initially by mrs. clinton. about are talking potentially 15,000 more e-mail subject to review. david from vermont on the independent line. caller: good morning. i wanted to ask a question about the direct or's decision not to recommend them an indictment when he said we couldn't show intent. send it to her noaa lee -- knowingly and unauthorized e-mail server, which we now, because the ag of the state department told us so. she knowingly told her subordinate in the state department to remove headings
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and markers off of classified information and sent to her e-mail server. the director says she claim she didn't send and receive pacified information but we have an e-mail showing she was instructing perspective to run move these heady -- headings and markers and to send it to her unauthorized e-mail. i don't understand how that should be the approach it response -- the appropriate response. host: oklahoma the democrats line. go ahead. i think that hillary is
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guilty. the federal government help to cover it up, especially obama. he is covering up so she can get the president. host: glenn in oklahoma. intruding bycs are the state department's decision make it --. defend whating to she did and it's written -- inappropriate. i have been following judicial watch for a long time. guest: we are funded with the
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support of the american people. we have 400,000 supporters. you can follow us at judicial watch.org and by in the -- individual donations. stop workcial watch is how you find out more information. org.dicial watch. i don't know if it will go anywhere even the conflict and justice department. loretta lynch the attorney general after her meeting with bill clinton that caused so much consternation since there is a shadow cast over her as a result. that has not been eliminated. of why a good example the investigation was so half
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baked. half why wasn't that part of his investigation about the e-mails? he did not look at it. now they have to come back and asked them to do investigation 101 that they have -- and they failed to do initially. they have to look at that potential criminal conduct of mrs. clinton. the justice department should do i don't think they will be fair-minded in doing that. we have to have an expect tatian that there will be an independent serious investigation. the input -- the independent -- if mrs. clinton wins. it doesn't matter who is in office there is an expectation that an investigation be done
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that satisfies the american people that justice is being fairly administering -- administered. just because if mrs. clinton wins we should not assume there won't be a further investigation by the justice department. wisconsin on our democrats line three caller: good morning. i kind of think it's a sad day for our country when you have a group of people such as what you do, which is i am sure you mean well but you question the integrity and the honesty of an f ei person who has been elected by republicans and democrats. you question every angle. the only thing you don't question enough of is donald trump. if he is supposed to be president why are you not pursuing his taxes here and why are you not looking into sexual
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allegations here in white are -- thisissing this, inverse the thing. if you believe in equal for both sides, then you should be pursuing as strongly as you are all the questions that people are throwing out there about donald trump. you are looking at the screen like you are smiling like this is funny. it is not. this is an important decision for the people in this country. i think that you need to take as days or months, or years or whatever that you have since 1990, you said you had been following clinton. on one side of your face you say that and the next side use a, we just found out about this. those ways.ve it
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you can't say you have been pursuing her since 1990 and then just recently find out this or that. what i am getting at is spent a lot of time on donald trump europe please. clinton was secretary of state and we have this vehicle to access information. my view is that we don't just go after someone and make a quick the case is between conduct because one may like a politician. talk about mr. trumps university may be interesting in a political fight, but our issue right now is whether or not the rule of law was can ride with by the administration of the united states of america and by ,owerful public of official hillary clinton. mr. trump was never a government official.
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it is much harder to get information about his conduct through these processes that we are using than it is mrs. clinton. , we usehe clinton years the freedom of information act and people said we were anti-hunting. then the bush years came and we sued the bush administration twice as much as we did the lenten administration -- the clinton administration. depending on how the elections our out we will continue government accountability no matter who's in office we are not naive that a change in hardy will lead to a change in the culture of corruption as significant as many americans hope and expect. host: what kind of information were you looking at from the bush administration? west: with cheney investigated secrecy on the energy task is.
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he brought in all these energy discuss energy policy. without those meetings should be more open to the public. , we thought --on law and one of lost and must he for the scene -- supreme court. we got tens of thousands of documents and it was a victory for george bush and it led in part to him signing a change in the freedom of information act and made it more open. it was such a negative for him. there was good reason president obama ran on being the most transparent president in history because he saw this taste that toward which had for secrecy. it turned out president obama has been about as secret as you
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can get. you make a request, how long does it take to get a response? guest: under law they are supposed to respond to you within 20 days or so. we are willing sometimes to wait a few months he could as we recognize, -- we often we have to sue just to get them to tell us just are no. the more lyrically sensitive the request the more difficult it is to get information in a timely way area --. host: is the information highly redacted when you get the information? it is a topic of national security it will be highly redacted.
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as you imagine that would be the most interesting material. caller: the lawyers that clinton are they going to be judging her even though they knew that had privilege to calm from dental -- confidential information with the capacity to read the e-mails. and with the benghazi e-mails she thought her daughter telling her that we were under
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attack and then lied to the people. guest: i don't think it was enough to get her indicted. lawyers, theton's lawyers arguing on her behalf personally also looked at the e-mails. i don't know if they deleted them or not. they werelear how deleted. they did have access to the e-mails the caller is concerned about. evidently the justice department does not think that is a big deal. host: the written statement you receive from mrs. clinton. the sheep pen those herself? guest: my guess is the lawyers will help her compose the answers. in the and it is your
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responsibility. when she gives the answers to her answers are under all of under penalty of perjury. she is directly responsible for four those. louisville,d in kentucky. republican line. you are up. caller: in the 90's when bill clinton was president there was whoy named rich, mark rich, fled the country? i don't know what his crimes were but it was bad enough to where he had to leave his .ountry and go overseas a couple days before bill clinton left he pardoned the guy. now i find out morning that -- a's a guy named sugary business partner of margaret? thet: i read that prior to
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release of these e-mails. i don't know if it's true. guy is a partner of makingch and now he is dealings with hillary clinton while she was in this date artman? -- the state department and gave money to the clinton foundation. i change parties in general. i was a democrat for 44 years. i changed to republican party so i could vote in the republican primary. i voted for ted cruz. i promise you i will not vote democrat because of this terrible way that bill and hillary clinton have treated this country. i am ashamed to say that i was a democrat. thank you very much. it's interesting that he is someone that will clinton
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hang around with let alone the state department would give the time of day two. incredibly corrupt. host: did the meeting ever take place? guest: it's not clear. the former ambassador of lumber , said she would reach out to this gentleman and he sent i don't remember eating with him. -- meeting with him. host: melvin four democrats. i'm a democrat. i am an american. part of the american people you are talking about.
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you are spending a lot of time on these e-mails. the more you talk about it more you make us vote for hillary even more. you pick and pick and pick and there is nothing there. are you guys at big of a sore loser that you cannot accept defeat? what are to leave her alone. the time you spent time to worry about these e-mails we could be doing progress for this country. get a life. host: thank you. guest: we think the public interest in man's accountability for mrs. linton's desk clinton's misconduct. some may be turned off i that but this is a nonpartisan and doingse to we would be this whether or not she ran for office. we would beling getting an easier time access to the e-mails if she wasn't running or president area --.
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this waste of time has led to the shutting down of the clinton global initiative that was announced after the should glory e-mails. they would no longer take form donations. if it was just judicial watch and we didn't have anything to back this up, why would the clintons personally change their foundation in response to our disclosures. it is a testament to our work but the fact that the e-mails are concerning to people across the political spectrum. you see e-mails across the clinical spec test spectrum. there were calls for them to shut the foundation the alien stopped taking donations.
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host: thomas from humble, texas on the independent line. when theyu remember were bringing down her old numbers -- [inaudible] i have a bet with a friend of mine. -- was the cia headquarters was that were benghazi to lace? place? guest: it was a special mission compound at a diplomatic facility and later at the cia and it was supporting our operations there. was there ever a stand down order given? guest: yes there was. the security people said there was a and down order -- a stand down order.
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you never need to tell them to stand down if you never get going. it was allegedly given by the ca a annex chief cia annex chief. we found through e-mails just as a result of our work. mrs. clinton and the obama administration was offered troops that supported after the attack took place. that offer was not taken up in a timely way. those troops arguably could have gotten there in time to support the men who came under attack every -- several hours later. host: james from washington state republican line. go ahead. caller: i was wondering how many specific requests you have made
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against the clintons? guest: dozens, probably. i can't keep track. the e-mail issue has led to many freedom of information act requests and lawsuits. it is an unprecedented cover-up in many was the -- many respects. during the clinton years you had a rest to foreign interests such as the chinese communists threats and intimidation against asnesses who were seen adverse to mr. and mrs. clinton. a piece of the f ei. terrible record of corruption during the clinton years. one of the things we highlight obama we warned the administration and the american public that this corruption would continue if she was
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secretary of state and we were right. good morning. thanks for your work. i have a couple of statements here. for twicehe military for years. i got access to classified information i had to sign disclosure statement. it said if i mishandled the information that i would be subject to 10 years in prison or fines. clintonndering if mrs. did she have to sign that if she was secretary of date and can you get answers for that. i don't remember if she signed it initially. i recall she did. she may have signed something initially. like as also something leaving the agency form which
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she did not sign that one going out. she took the documents. -- had no doubt taking them you called it right in the sense that lower level officials suffered severe consequences for lesser crimes related to the mishandling of classified government information. host: you are saying that hillary hunton's campaign was trying to use: policy rock this is to help justify her actions in a parallel how she practiced e-mail use? -- colin powell should not have been doing government -- work on his server. classifieddo purposely do classified business on that system. when mrs. clinton came into
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office they had an unclassified e-mail system that she could have used but she declined to use. practice ofhe private e-mail use will change as smart --? guest: i hope so. you had asked carter and jeh joson who were given waivers to access personal e-mail versus using government commuters -- computers despite government concerns. the government doesn't want you to know what they are doing. the widespread use of e-mail and other internet media like text challenge because the government officials know there are ways to keep tracking it. georgia on the
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line for republicans. also mrs.ead caller: clinton has a bit position she has individual classification authority. on her own initiative she is for of the responsible recognizing anything that is classified. you don't get to that while you're playing ignorant. she has individual classification authority. guest: is called original classification authority. not many government officials who have it but someone like mrs. clinton is someone who is supposed to recognize classified material and treated accordingly. she had an obligation to make sure that classified material is handled at all times of rightly. -- appropriately.
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we will be debating with the state department, there will be more e-mails coming out this the clintong about foundation's connection to the state department that will only add to the russians and concerns. we are before a judge today to talk about the e-mails that the f ei recovered from mrs. -- at that she did not turn over to the state department. they have turned those e-mails over to the state department. they are supposed to turn them over to us. will geto know when we the e-mails. that is what we will be talking about in court today. we are talking about 15,000 documents. host: president of judicial watch and the website is
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judicial watch.org is the website. thank you for the time. >> a live picture from the white house roofing room where shortly we hope to get updated on administrative duties. expected to begin any moment and we will have it live for you when it gets underway here on c-span. a discussion from this morning washington journal on campaign 2016 and the youth vote. circle.the director of good morning. >> good morning. host: who back shoe and what is your purpose? a part of civic
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life at the university. we focus on studying and understanding and promoting young people civic learning and engagement through research and supporting practitioners. host: as far as this election campaign 2016 what is of interest to most young voters? guest: there are different definitions. generally speaking when young people are discussing they mean citizens under the age of 30. we also focus on millennials who are turning 34 or 35. who are turning 34 or 35. host: when you say millennia, the recent headline in the washington post, i want to read it to you. the millennial voters the
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clinton versus trump choice is like a joke. do you get that sentiment from the people in this election? start by saying that young people are not just one group who have the same opinions and behaviors. i sharply disagree with that view area this election is important. there are young people that feel that the political system at the federal level has done alienating and distant. whatever they do will have no impact on what will happen to the nation and who will run the federal government. host: will continue on our conversation about young people, millennials and how you describe them and their voting with our guests.
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could you talk about the candidates specifically? let's start with mrs. clinton. how is she doing among young people can you track that to how >> ms. clinton is doing what she can. she gainedshall --, support from young voters are participated in the democratic primary compared to 70% for mr. sanders. her support was lower than the kind she received from the voters in general. 56% from the overall voter electric. that gap is really large. it didn't shrink over the primary season.
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young people do seem to be planning to vote for misses clinton, especially compared to mr. trump that we can talk about an imminent. now compared to president obama, the support he received was a little bit more enthusiastic. although it is august and it seems like it's around the corner, ms. clinton's campaign and her supporters have a lot of work in order to regain support from young people. everybody.ere,
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i hope everybody is doing well and got some time away. i know the president enjoyed the opportunity to spend time with his family and i hope all of you have the opportunity to do the same even if it wasn't quite for as long. at on have any comments at the top so you can go straight to questions. earlier this month, the administration said that there was no connection between the 400 lane dollars payment to iran and the release of the american prisoners. but the administration acknowledged it was on release of the prisoners. is there a shift in the way it is being explained? >> kevin, we have been quite direct since january when the president announced this deal shortly after it consummated.
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exactly what the benefits would be. the benefits we have described have been verified and made public based on what exactly transpired. benefits are significant. obtaining aran from nuclear weapon. it was the nuclear track of negotiations led and completed by secretary of state john kerry. iranallies had identified obtaining a nuclear weapon is their most significant foreign-policy concern. we completed negotiations to resolve a three decades old financial dispute between the united states and iran. its age taxpayers potentially billions of dollars.
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the united states succeeded in a thatl prisoner release enough them -- allow them to come home. it was accomplished without a shot being fired or troops deployed. it is an indication of how the president's tough diplomatic strategy has proven to be. >> are you aware senior justice weretment officials objecting to the cash delivery at the same time? >> you might not be surprising here that i'm not going to get into the discussions. i can to you, of course, these arrangements
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with members of his national security team. and there was unanimous agreement that he should move forward. benefits inhe many terms of rolling back the key aspects of the nuclear program. and in terms of securing the release of americans. is a letter from the attorney general indicating her strong support moving forward. >> did the white house schedule a visit in response to donald trump's visit? >> of course not. president been tardy
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in responding more personally -- >> the president has been focused on the response on the ground and the lives in louisiana that have been turned upside down. it has been effective. they have been effective. i would refer you to local officials in louisiana. they have said positive things about the federal response. including republicans. built it on colorfully criticizing the administration. the highest-ranking republican official in the state, his response was, when asked about
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it's always nice to have the president visit as long as the team here on the ground is working closely with local elected officials to get the job done, that is what we are worried about." that is what the president is worried about. that's why the president sent to see the damage firsthand and why the president was on the phone with the governor of louisiana eight days to talk to him about how the state was affected by the flooding in the president informed the governor that he was prepared to issue a disaster allaration to ensure federal resources are mobilized. i think it's the most effective way to answer the politically motivated criticism the president faced.
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>> a judge granted a nationwide injunction for the back door policy. what is your response to this ruling? >> i will refer you to the department of justice about next steps. it was in response to questions they were getting from community groups all across the country. it was to collect best practices. it implement the policies to address this particular issue. this guidance was issued in response to these requests for information. to ensurey goal was
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safe, educational environment for all students. the motivation for those seeking this guidance and of thethe primary goal administrators of the department of education seeking to be responsible for that request of information. it was not a mandate and was not described a such by the administration. but i recognize the earth people will -- that there are people eager to play politics with this. but the focus has been on practical problem-solving. we have worked with local school district across the country to try to help them address this complicated issue. our goal has been from the beginning to provide for the safety and security and dignity of students across the country.
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we got a lot of confidence in the guidance put forward and confidence in the legal basis for issuing that guidance. obviously, we are respectful of rulings that are put forth by federal judges. i will let my colleagues at the department of justice be to the next steps. vice president biden is visiting turkey this week. what will be his message to the turkish government? and there are more and more raiseds about -- being from turkish officials that if the islamic cleric is not extradited, there would be a rise and anti-american sentiment and extradition is the only way to deal with that. do you have any concerns about that? foremost, the vice president's message would be to indicate our continued support
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for allies in turkey. was is a country that subject to a failed coup attempt earlier this summer. attempt that was roundly and publicly condemned by the united states government. we strongly support the democratic government of our allies in turkey. there has been no ambiguity about that. that vicemething president biden will reiterate. you can expect him to indicate his support for an appreciation .or the steps turkey has taken there are actions that have benefited the united states and members of our coalition.
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my giving them access to military facilities inside of turkeys. as it relates to the individual that isnited states obviously the subject of some concern expressed by the turkish government, vice president what, if asked, would say president obama has indicated. it there is an extradition treaty on the books for more than 30 years between the u.s. and turkey. the u.s. is committed to following the procedure and guidelines outlined in that treaty. seen extensive coordination. i understand officials are traveling this week to meet with
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counterparts. but ultimately, this decision about extradition is not a presidential decision. there is a process codified in the treaty that we will follow. department of justice officials are involved and they will do the due diligence required to .rrive at a conclusion it will begat it by the evidence and the rules and procedures codified by the extradition treaty. >> did the president know and agree that the payment had leverage to ensure. released until we have confirmed that the americans [indiscernible]
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>> the approach -- approach has been that there has been an opportunity for the u.s. to make progress on a variety of issues that had been a long-standing source of concern. and because of our success in that different set of negotiations, the american people benefited and our -- we stand at a place where iran is not able to obtain nuclear weapons and they have made commitments to rollback key aspects of their nuclear program. and we verify their compliance with the agreement. in a way, it saved american
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taxpayers billions of dollars. there are former american citizens that have been freed from unjust attention, and that is good news. that is the way we have described this from the beginning. the president made the announcement to all of you. the way we have described our goals have not changed. the benefits have not changed. are right-wingers that would love to try to sully this agreement. for their own political motivations. they were doing that before this agreement was reached. they were trying to prevent the agreement from moving forward. that theyurprising try to criticize all engagements.
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you all have written about it. the criticism is not particularly surprising. but it also has not changed. changedvation has not the goals we have laid out. it is a result of the tough diplomatic strategy implemented by the obama administration. asking about the coincidence all timing about the money being flown to iran. you said in part the iranians were eager to have this money in this dispute being settled. also contested the notion that i described this is a coincidence. i'm not really sure why.
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what we have tried to do is reach these agreements to move them across the finish line. we were going to go and get as much as we could out of the deal and we got iran committed to not getting nuclear weapons. committing to rolling back their nuclear program. to release americans and settle a long-standing dispute between the two countries that saved billions of dollars. the benefits are clear. >> did you ignore that one point that this was not used as wondering,nd -- i'm did you decide not to be as transparent as you could of been when you are given the ? portunity iran was in the business of setting off on agreements. so we were pushing the envelope
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to get as much as we possibly could. , as agnificant benefits result of the tough principled diplomacy. those benefits are not in dispute. even the toughest critics don't argue on the merits. nobody has changed their mind. i am disappointed that there are previous critics of the agreement that haven't come thend to acknowledgment fact of these benefits. that i understand they are on some political pressure. that right-wingers can't be in a to complement what president obama does. i understand that. the people that have supported haveengagement and what we
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enjoyed since has continue to support it. the story about what we did in why we did it and what we got out of the deal has been consistent. and there is a good reason for that. the benefits are significant. that it iss are such hard to quibble with the success of this engagement. all of it was achieved without firing a single shot or the deployment of a single soldier to ensure we could get it done. >> the images of the five-year-old boy of pulled out of the rubble, does he have reaction to those images? spoken to the president about the images of
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that young boy in syria. without being shaken by it. it's hard to imagine what the five-year-old boy has seen in his short life. to try to bring an end to the violence inside of syria. there is no military solution. that image is a testament to the fact that continues military along the lines of the
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indiscriminate bombings carried out by the syrian regime and aided and abetted by their iran. like russia and it is making the situation worse. that has been communicated quite .irectly we were presently surprised six months ago when the cessation of hostilities first went into effect. they did have a greater than expected impact in reducing the violence in syria. have obviously seen the cessation of hostilities for a significantly in key areas of the country.
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in key areas, we have been deeply concerned about that. we have made the case to the russians directly that continuing to support the syrian only deepens the chaos exacerbatesria and the violence in that country. and exacerbates the kind of tensions that fuel extremists. believehy it's hard to russia has a sound strategy for going after extremists when so much of the strategy rests on carrying out and supporting the kinds of activities that fuel that extra ms. him. this has been an inherent contradiction from the beginning and one i have pointed out on many occasions.
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we will make the case that the strategy needs to change. >> when we talk about how this was portrayed, did you see we wouldn't be having this , here's why a came out the same time. it wasn't paid before, it was paid directly after and here's why. had you used the word leverage then, that is why we are having this conversation. in you be more clear about why those details weren't put out
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.here in the same way now and not just right-wingers as you described. it's being brought out because of details that came out in the press. i would make is that the details you have referred to, while potentially interesting to some don't change the facts or the benefits. they don't change the goals. >> surely you would rather not be having this conversation repeatedly. you seem annoyed by it. almost as if you don't understand why it's coming up. we are laying out exactly why it's coming up. >> i'm happy to spend all the time you would like to talk about the details. . think we are quite proud
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i am happy to do it. we have a strong case to make about what we have done. >> we probably wouldn't be having this conversation if the word leverage was used and described as it was back then. it's the timing. >> i quibble with you a little on the timing thing. hours of it being completed. there were two agreements at the , in exchange for the beinge of individuals
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detained in the united states. i think you are working at sunday. let me quibble with you. i will be >> a you can get back to your question but this is the thing. there is not anything unusual about the mechanism for this transaction. they are not unusual in terms of the movement of currency. the notes reason why
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being part of the transfer. is no banking relationship between the united states and iran. because of our commitment to the isolation of iran that the transaction was carried out in this way. there are people that are much .etter experts my understanding is that this is not particularly unusual. it have been better to lay out the details that you have now since laid out act then? ?hy didn't you including the use of the word "leverage?" >> the president spoke about this agreement on live television and they described what happened.
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>> we never heard the word leverage until two days ago. >> there were so many details included in the questions all of you were raising on that long holiday weekend in january were questions about how the nuclear program was going to be monitored. of it being steps rolled back. you are asking about the condition of the u.s. citizens. , thosere the mechanisms were questions that were answered. we see it available to be used as leverage to make sure werethe prisoners concerned. >> the president was very clear
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about what had been agreed to. was quite clear. and we spent a lot of time about the significant benefits. russia having used iranian , whates and stopping it is the administration's reaction to that? and what is the potential of working with russia. >> i did know there was a theement indicating that russian use of facilities had stopped for now. you guys have reported on a variety of occasions that both
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russia and iran are propping up the islam regime. at this point, the president and secretary of state , even me in the setting of this briefing have made the point deepening its involvement in a sectarian counterproductive because it deepens the chaos inside of syria and sets a much-needed clinical settlement further away. transitionolitical that the russians themselves big is necessary to resolve the situation inside of syria. fuels extremism that has taken root inside of syria. so the revelation, i use that
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term somewhat derisively, should not be particularly surprising to those following the situation closely. we have long described our of thes with the actions russians and the iranians working together. for theunterproductive goals of the russians, counterproductive for the goals of the united states and counterproductive for the goals of the world that is feeling the negative consequences. >> if we can go back to the flooding in louisiana, i believe that the height of katrina, 11 years ago. louisiana is fraught when it comes to disasters. i'm wondering if they talked about any special consideration
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for how he and the administration should approach the flooding in baton rouge given the history in the louisiana with flooding. and if any decisions were made or whether going forward there is special attention. see in differences you similarities or differences between the response to katrina. >> the first thing that is true is that the federal response to moreflooding has been much effective and much more
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impactful than the initial female response to hurricane -- fema response to hurricane katrina. they professionalize that agency. and he has brought his expertise and extensive skills to that job. and we learn from the painful lessons of katrina. i think you have seen a federal response that is much more effective as a result. also true is the relationship between emergency response officials in louisiana and federal officials is quite strong. someone said it's the message of hurricane katrina and one that the people of louisiana benefit from.
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i can also tell you it's the lesson that most people take away from katrina. results.n the to focus on what steps the federal government can take to support the state and local officials that have the primary responsibility for responding to situations like this. there is an all too common in tatian -- temptation to focus on the politics. the federal government has done our part in the first eight to 10 days after this disaster but there is a long road ahead.
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i know that secretary johnson and president obama understands the response and recovery effort is going to extend into the future. that is part of the message of louisiana. the american people will be standing with the people of baton rouge as they rebuild their city. >> in the wake of the recent shooting, how much of an interest does president obama take? has he been in touch with the mayor and speaking out about the gun violence there? aware of any
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conversation about the recent gun violence in chicago. on the unfortunately many occasions, we hear president obama talk about gun violence. president has a noted tendency to focus on mass shooting events. have seen inife we places like baton rouge and orlando. it quickly captures peoples .ttention it's important not to overlook the kind of violence that, unfortunately, we see every day. the president often cites the experience, the steps that we can take to prevent gun violence, common sense steps that don't undermine the rights of americans won't just make
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mass shooting incidents less , they might also have a positive impact on your efforts to fight more common states of gun violence like in chicago over the weekend. >> we have heard from colin powell. is it fair for him to say -- [indiscernible] president, i don't have any insight into any sort of conversations between secretary clinton and general powell. i'm afraid i can't shed much light on that for you. >> you say the criticism of president obama's response is politically motivated, might the same be said of candidate obama's
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criticism of president bush in 2008 when he was critical of president bush over new orleans after cutting short his vacation? >> you have presented a very apt illustration of a focus on optics over response. underscoreds photo the risks of that kind of approach. i think what is notable about hurricane katrina is there were democrats and republicans who were critical of the federal government's response. the failures of that responsibility. what is different about this situation is that you have democrats and republicans praising the federal response. that is the most significant difference. president bush was criticized by candidate obama for not being
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on the ground quicker in new orleans when he was on the , fasterithin five days than president obama's response. the commentseak to that then candidate obama may have made in 2008 but what has president obama has demonstrated as president of the united states is focusing on results response.su it has been his priority. i recognize there are some who are going to criticize the optics of the president making that the priority. the president is willing to assume that criticism if the response is up to par. it happens because the are patriotic americans serving at
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fema and working along the clock. working to meet the needs of those in baton rouge. have leading officials that will be a top priority. the director deserves an anonymous amount of credit. and strengthening the relationship. he's not somebody that gets a lot of tv time other than in disasters. that he is somebody so closely effective with
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management and effective emergency response is a testament to his prodigious skill. again, i think it sounds like the lieutenant governor, a colorful noted obama critic and the highest-ranking official is done anhat fema have excellent job of supporting the people of louisiana in their time of need. in the transfer of detainees last week from gitmo, to president obama play any role in requesting the uae to accept those detainees? mark, is can tell you, that the diplomatic agreements reached with other countries. take -- to agree
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to take them is intensive. there's not a lot of upside to agree to their responsibility. if for no other reason than the stigma associated with them. speak to any specific conversations president obama had with senior officials in the uae. i can tell you that in other ,iscussions with world leaders they talked about how much the united states appreciates the support and friendship we have received from other countries that have agreed to bear this responsibility so we can make progress in closing what on a mowbray -- guantanamo bay. trying to empty out gitmo before the end of his term? >> he is still aiming to close
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guantanamo bay by the end of his term. any consideration given to suggesting the president not play golf on the same day a republican candidate was going to louisiana? >> not that i'm aware of. president was focused on the federal response. after this just days flooding started, the president was on the phone to talk to him about what support the government could provide. the president informed him in the phone call he was prepared to issue a disaster declaration. that,t a day or two after the president sent his secretary down to see the damage firsthand. and after each of those visits, the president got a phone call for each of them. the president has been focused and notesponse
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concerned with the optics as you all appear to be. they matter inasmuch that there are plenty of critics of the obama administration that sees on the optics because they can't criticize the response. they've got to find something to criticize the president about. >> where is the president going tomorrow? >> we will have more details. noted in the statement on friday, the president is seeking to organize this in a way that doesn't have an impact on the significant response and recovery efforts that are underway in louisiana. i anticipate the president will have an opportunity to see the image firsthand. anticipate he will an opportunity to speak to
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officials in louisiana. i expect the president will have an opportunity to meet with and to theome comfort citizens whose lives have been thrown in to chaos. i will conduct -- i am confident the president will take advantage of the opportunity to thank those responsible for saving lives at the height of this event. are you equating these two storms, katrina and the rainfall in baton rouge? one was on a scale much grander than anything we have seen here. one was days of steady rain. it affected millions of people. it is fully understandable.
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is louisianasaying officials, democrats and republicans saying that the federal response had been much more effective than the federal response to hurricane katrina in 2005. i was citing their experience and some of your colleagues here are noting it's about the same time a year that these two events occurred. of science.tter i have seen some reporting on this that indicates there is substantially more rainfall associated with this flooding of and then was part of hurricane katrina. what was also included was a wind damage that wreaked havoc on a large american city. it's fair to downplay the significance of this historic flooding event that is affecting not just baton rouge but other parts of
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louisiana. money hast of the been paid? is that my understanding? what was the form of the payment? >> my understanding is that this interest payment -- just to go back. the 400 nine dollars was the principal. it was iran's money. they were hoping to buy military equipment. it was not provided to the regime because we had just seen the government be overthrown there. that hadranian money been held in a u.s. account for 35 years. it was the return of that principle. financial dispute was rooted in how much interest we were going to have to pay.
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that disputen of by getting iran to accept the $1.3 billion interest payment, in the eyes of experts, saved u.s. taxpayers billions of dollars. that is the argument for why we made this settlement. the $1.3 billion payment has been made. made with it transaction involving central banks. there are extensive restrictions on the financial relationship between the u.s. and iran. we're not going to disclose which partner it was but this is the kind of central bank that, while probably not routine, probably not
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common. why did you not use them in the first transaction? why did you not wire the money to a third-party which did have a banking relationship? >> the transfer of the $400 million was a central bank to central-bank transaction. back tohy i went michelle on that. there are significant limitations on our ability to with iran. some of the sanctions have been rolled back because it was part of the nuclear agreement. there is more flexibility executing these kinds of transactions.
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but the fact is, because of the remaining sanctions in place. >> and you are aware that many congressional right wingers say that this form of payment is precisely how iran pays many terrorist proxies? >> i would be surprised if they knew exactly how iran engaged in financial transactions. if they do, our intel analyst would like to talk to them. at -- what i can assure you of is that the financial agreement that we reached saved u.s. taxpayers billions of dollars. that is exactly why we have reached this agreement.
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>> he has offered a fundamentally different interpretation of this transaction. the united states does not pay the ransom. you talked about the benefits but you did not talk about the detriments. >> it is foolish in thinking so because the united states does not pay ransom. it has been the policy of this administration, the policy of previous administration. there are those because of the value that we place on human life. it was the same conclusion really -- reached by democratic and others.
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that is why the united states won't pay ransom, even for americans unjustly detained overseas. we do have a quite strong record of securing the release. just iran but other places around the world. it's a process the administration has overhauled to make it more effective. the same for turn -- safe return of u.s. citizens is something the president has made a priority and we made significant progress. >> between now and election day, what does he hope to accomplish?
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what alternatives does he have? fact that congress hasn't an done a lot during the eight months of the year, they will get a lot done over the next 2.5 months or so. in particular, it has been disappointing that while congress is in the midst of a seven-week break, there are americans in some communities dealing with the zika virus being actively spread in the communities. congress skipped town for a seven-week recess without being focused on what the republican professionals say.
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citing resources to make it a top priority. when they first asked for the resources. it is republicans who have blocked their presidents request. they pass a bill with full funding for zika. >> there was bipartisan support and some republicans did come on that with the senate bill did get consideration the did include full funding. there is a compromise to measure. they were able to pass to the house a different version than what was passed through the senate. that there was a bunch of politically motivated writers that made cleared they were not interested in passing funding, there were trying to make progress on an ideological agenda. and the fact that they would
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hold hostage zika funding so they could limit funding to planned parenthood is embarrassing for republicans. the other thing that has been thatling is not republicans went on a seven-week vacation without doing their job, they spent the seven-week vacation bragging about not doing their job. i'm not sure if you saw the comments from leader mcconnell. said, one of my proudest moments is one of looked brought obama in the eye and said, you will not fill the supreme court vacancy. to take a lot of nerve a seven-week vacation when you haven't been doing your job. it takes a next her special dose of nerve to brag about not doing your job during your seven weeks vacation. i think we have a pretty good illustration of why congressional republicans are pulling so low.
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>> [indiscernible] the threat that has diminished greatly since that fear? >> there has been money that has been transferred but it was transferred from ebola accounts. mean -- why would we take that chance? needed for ebola so we can fight the zika virus. they have utterly failed. congress hasn't acted responsibly. truth is, there are plenty of states at risk from the zika virus and hopefully, one of them will demonstrate some leadership and have some influence with republican leadership. right now, there is a special
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onus on members of congress. states were zika is likely to spread. those all have representatives in the senate and the house who are republicans. and i think the only way this is going to get done is figuring out how they will persuade the republican leadership to let this through. those republican representatives from florida and georgia and texas have failed. it is their citizens that will have to bear the cost of that. >> in the last few weeks, president obama has started funding. [indiscernible] i'm wondering if the president
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has a problem with that. does the white house think she should allow the press corps in? >> i will let the campaigns make their own decisions about the best way to run their campaigns. none of them need any advice from me and few of them would take any advice for me, frankly. house be ableite to come into something? i'm not sure there's been a situation where something like that has happened. again, the clinton campaign will make their own decisions. -- thewill just observe president doesn't have any trouble attracting people to fundraisers and secretary clinton doesn't, either.
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maybe there will be a need for the two of them to appear together but it's not one i anticipate at this point. presidentre you that obama is making formal, public , wills at a fundraiser find a way to make sure the pool has access to those remarks. candidatesal, both running for president are far less transparent than president obama is right now. i would welcome you asking this question. clearly if donald trump or hillary clinton win, clearly, if they are doing what they are doing now, it will be less transparent. is that not wrong for this white house? >> for a variety of reasons, i'm
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just not going to be in a position to offer campaign advice from the podium here. we are focused on the people's business. about --are questions let he say it this way. it thisme say way, each of the candidates are allowed to make their own case about what value they place on transparency and what steps they take to be transparent. certainly -- i am just going to stop there. [laughter] >> i would just say the president of the united states. of them saying it's each individual campaigns, i am quite limited and what i can say about campaigns.ual -- in what

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